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Review: Shimmer In The Dark: Rogue Genesis by Ceri London

rogue
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Ceri London has written, in Shimmer In The Dark: Rogue Genesis one of the most powerful science fiction/fantasy novels I have read since Dune. Well, actually, it is better than Dune. More creative, with a wider range and depth of reality, that is approachable to all readers. This is, without doubt, a science fiction novel, but it also has strong ties to military-political intrigue in the present day which grounds the novel in a level of believability even when the “fiction” portion of the science asks you to stretch your mind into new levels of belief.

Some, I suppose, would lean more towards calling it ‘fantasy’ as there are no space ships and Earth colonies on other planets. If you are one of the ‘hard sci-fi geeks’ that some of my friends are, you might be disappointed by no space rockets blasting around, I suppose, but that should in no way deter you from reading this jewel of a book.

Unlike many, I have no problem stretching credulity to new levels. I don’t expect a science fiction or fantasy book to stay within the realm of ‘probability’. I expect to be taken to a new place, a new level of existence, while I expect that existence to still feel believable. I expect to be charmed into a new sense of reality for a short while. Something that Ms. London has done brilliantly in this, the first of a four-part series.

Niall Kearey is a very special person, with a very special family. As has been described by the blurb on the book, he can, with is mind, reach out across galaxies to what he thinks is a ‘dream world’ – a world “racing towards annihilation” – a world soon to pass into alignment with Earth, with unknown outcome. Here on Earth, there are power brokers, secret societies, power-hungry and amoral politicians, and a corrupt U.S. Military. A military and power structure that will do anything, including the destruction of Niall’s beloved family, to bring him under their control and use him for world domination. Of this, and possibly other worlds . . .

London, in my estimation, did a beautiful job of making me feel her characters. I actually understood, and admired, Niall. My admiration was not only for his special abilities, but also for his love of and deep commitment to his family. In the face of horrific circumstances, he stands by his family and continues to fight for them, when everyone around him is betraying his faith, his honour and his commitment to country. The very thing that Niall has fought for, and watched his friends die for, is pulled into the light, and that light shines upon a dark and venomous snarl of greed and xenophobia that would happily watch whole civilizations die, accepting only the technology and power that those cultures might provide. In all, humanity at it’s slimiest, humanity who would sentence millions to death, while gobbling up their scientists to live as virtual prisoners, slaves to the military-industrial complex. Yep. Humans all right. Humans who would imprison a decorated military man under “correct supervision”, using him as a lab rat to assure his “asset to this nation” status.

Yes, a lot of the book made me sick. I want to howl in despair at the horror of the reality of what humans truly are, what they are truly capable of.  Of human avarice, hatred, brutality and vicious self-aggrandizement, the truly black and horrific souls within. Sick, in that everything that London writes is so very gut-wrenchingly believable in so many ways. So real within the fictitious world that she creates. Amidst the black holes, space-time jumps, dark matter universes and other fascinating and well-researched portions of the book, London delves into the human psyche, and lays bare its soul. And proves, beyond a doubt, the very reasons that, even if there are other civilizations out there, my view of how they would view Earth is “That poor, beautiful orb, filled with the trailer trash of the universe, vicious, dangerous creatures to be avoided at any cost.”  I can see the signs hanging in space now:

DANGER

Overall, if you are a lover of science fiction style fantasy, I cannot recommend this book highly enough. It was on my back burner for a while, a lot longer than I had wished for it to be, but I am so very glad that I finally sat down and read it. It was well worth the time. More than worth it. This book needs a lot more attention than it is getting right now. Go out and buy it. I can guarantee you that you will be recommending it to your friends. It’s very creativity of concept makes it a standout in the field. That should draw you in. What will keep you there is the writing, the characterizations, and her deep understanding of the human psyche will keep you reading, and watching for the next in the series.

Highly recommended.

Review: Wink by Eric Trant – Five Star Review

wink
Click to order the book. Really. click it. You won’t regret it. You need to read this book!

Sometimes we hear a voice. Deep at times, at times trembling on the very edge of hearing, a vibration, a whisper. A voice that reaches into your soul and changes what was there before. Rarely do you find these voices, but when they do, they are to be cherished.

Eric Trant has that voice. He speaks of the darkness in the human soul. The pain, the agony of savagery and brutality, of hopelessness and agony too deep to bear. Of the absolute depths of what can pass for a human soul. I could taste Trant’s characters on the back of my tongue, copper and brass and old, diseased blood. Smell the decay of souls rotted beyond redemption.

Yet on top of that, he layers a sheen of hope, a blue-shimmering breath of possibility, scented and yet not seen. Two children, separated by the width of a yard, and by a chasm of darkness without end. One child broken, trapped within her house, neat and tidy and real. The other living inside a nightmare with no end: It was a place where the unburied dead mired themselves between life and death. It was a place of half-living, half-dead, spiritless creatures, and except for Marty, what lived there did not walk and dwell like other living things, but crawled and crept and slithered and hid from the light.

So much of this book is lived within the ‘real world’. A world of poverty, drug addiction, hoarding, hatred and child abuse. A world of no hope, no joy, no possibilities. And then, things begin to change . . .

Thrilling, painful, heart-rending and yet hopeful. All of these things and more. I highly recommend this book, no matter if you like thrillers and paranormal, or are up for some heavy-duty literary fiction. The book walked right inside me and turned on a light in a dark place.

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